Atletico Madrid forward Sergio Aguero has asked the Spanish club to release him from his contract. The 22-year-old Argentine international extended his deal to 2014 in January but his buy-out clause was reduced from £52m to £40m.
“I said long ago that when I wanted to go, I would say so publicly. And the time has come,’ Aguero said in a statement. “So I keep to my word and here I am. I find it hard to leave Atletico. It hurts and saddens me. I’ve thought long and hard and I am convinced that I must be true to myself. I do not think I put a ceiling on the ability to keep learning, to keep growing. After five intense years, this stage for me personally is over and I have to give way to a new one. I’m about to turn 23 and I have everything before me. Suffice it to say that this is not an economic issue but strictly a sporting one. So I want to clearly express my appreciation to the club for the efforts they have made for giving me a salary that equates with the largest clubs in the world.”
Aguero, 22, has scored over 100 goals for Atletico since joining from Independiente as a teenager in 2006. In January he signed a new contract that runs until 2014, but Aguero said that he signed the new deal with an understanding that he may leave this summer, merely wanting to ensure Atletico received a larger fee.
“I want to say also that this decision has been maturing for some time,’ he added. ‘The issue was discussed and agreed with Atletico last year when I was renewing my contract. I wanted to sign as a way to give back to the club for all the support they have given me. Had I not done so, they might not have received any more for my transfer. I received then a promise that the club would not stand in my way if I wanted to leave this summer. Therefore, in line with that commitment and my decision, I have asked them to listen to any offers they receive for me from different clubs.”
The news that Aguero wants to leave will create a feeding frenzy amongst Europe’s big teams with Real Madrid, Juventus, Liverpool and Manchester City all linked with the son-in-law of Argentina legend Diego Maradona.